The Culture of Instagram drove me to a social media break

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Valentine’s Day! It’s been a while because, well, life. And sometimes you need to focus on real life and leave online to deal with itself. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing, blogging and posting on social media, but lately, I have had a hard time.

Facebook is where I mostly connect with friends and family. So, it’s easy to post a picture or a joke and not really have to consider the content. These days I’m even finding my business pages are suffering because I just don’t have it in me.

I had been saying that I need to post, but I just couldn’t bring myself to…especially on Instagram.

But Instagram?

I have so many other issues with Instagram.

Mainly, I feel it’s so…fake.

Yeah. I said it.

Don’t get me wrong. I like Instagram and I think it can be a great for connecting and for business…but it also can be a place where people can pretend to be what they aren’t. Creating a life just for the ‘gram.

And making you question your life, your choices, your children, your relationship, your clothing, your home décor and more.

For a few months, maybe a year, I was posting and trying to build my brand on social media. Through doing that, I was spending an inordinate amount of time on Instagram, scrolling, posting and figuring out how to increase followers. I enjoyed looking at the beautifully curated images and reading the captions that accompanied them.

I started following a bunch of people who had interesting feeds with gorgeous pictures and engaging content. But I noticed that many of the feeds started feeling the same and they were trying to sell me something—a dream, a service, a product. My issue wasn’t that people used Instagram for business, I mean, I do as well. The problem was that people weren’t upfront about it being business or paid advertisements. I started seeing the hashtag “ad” on some posts and that confirmed that it.  

The content felt less and less genuine.

As time went on, there were still feeds that I liked to visit, but some of the first accounts that I followed were looking and sounding the same, and it just got boring.

My sad attempt at documenting all the things I do on a random October Saturday. I lasted about six hours when I realized that I wasn’t about that life.

In October, I did an experiment. I decided to document my life for a day. That Saturday, after we got home from swimming with the kids, I posted about us doing a Halloween craft, me cooking dinner, and I think getting dressed for a birthday party I was going to.

Guy. I didn’t even get to the party. I was so annoyed by staging photos, taking selfies, figuring out cute captions, I was DONE. I wanted just to live my best life without prying eyes.

And I realized that I would never be an Instagram influencer. I don’t have the constitution.

While I understood my limitations, the culture of Instagram was still affecting me.

I’m a big, able, grown woman with a family and life experience. I rarely compare myself against others. I am who I am and I like who I am. So, imagine my surprise when I got caught up. I was following people, posting images, waiting for likes and doing what we all know we shouldn’t be doing: judging my life, my business, my family, my house, my body against all these Instagram folks.

Nonsense.

By November, I started tapping out. I posted for business purposes but tried not to scroll feeds. During the holidays, I did put up some posts of the family but made a concerted effort to focus on the family and having a good time with them. I wasn’t posting our every move and my every thought. To be honest, I wasn’t as bad as some folks, but for my own sanity, I had to slow it down.

By January, the thought of posting annoyed me, so I went on a break of sorts and I think I posted twice.

So, I am on a self-imposed Instagram break. I give much respect to Instagram influencers because it must be hard to snap every. single. aspect. of your life and sell it. It is difficult to keep up with changing algorithms. As a blogger, I know how challenging it is to come up with new content weekly so I can imagine the pain of creating daily content for posts and for stories and all that.

Best of luck to all of you. That ish ain’t for your girl.

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